Michigan State coach Izzo and guard Harris look on in the final minute of their loss to Duke during the Midwest Regional NCAA men's basketball game in Indianapolis

Gary Harris returned to prepare for a long NBA career

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Gary Harris is notoriously bland with the media.

He may only be a rising sophomore in college, but he’s already mastered the art of saying nothing while making it sound like something.

But in an interview with a radio station on Friday, Harris did have an interesting comment about his decision to return to school.

“Growing up, every kid’s dream is to go to the NBA,” Harris said. “And I mean when you’re right there, it kind of feels like you want to take that next step, but you know, you’ve got to think down the road, do you want to just get to the NBA or do you want to stay in the NBA and have a long career?”

“I feel like if I wanted to, I could have gone. I just feel like I’ll be better prepared to have a longer career by staying one more year, being in college, having another year under my belt and just being more prepared for next year.”

That’s the thing that people sometimes forget when discussing the need to jump to the NBA and the desire to chase a guaranteed contract.

You don’t make much real money off of your rookie deal, and a lot of the money that you do make ends up going to someone else — your agent, your financial advisor, taxes. Getting that first free agent deal is where the big money is, and hanging around the NBA for a decade is how you manage to earn never-have-to-work-again dollars.

Harris isn’t just trying to get himself into position to be a high draft pick, he’s trying to prepare himself for an NBA career that will span into his 30s.

(h/t Diamond Leung)

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

BUBBLE BANTER: All of the action on the fringe of the NCAA tournament

Fred VanVleet
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.

Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.